Famous Recommenders

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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Famous Recommenders

Post by jlawrencet » Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:11 pm

I've seen quite a few people list that they have famous recommenders. What are people usually referring to? Like having been an invited speaker at an ICM, having published with professors on the admissions committee at the school they are applying to, having written a widely used textbook, themselves graduated from a prestigious school? Thanks!

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Re: Famous Recommenders

Post by ponchan » Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:45 pm

"Famous" can be vague, but I'd take it to mean someone that everyone has heard of in the mathematical community regardless of their field. Say, Peter Sarnak, Peter May, Terry Tao, etc.

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Re: Famous Recommenders

Post by djysyed » Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:44 pm

I was thinking AMS Fellows are quite well-known among people in their field and related fields.

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Re: Famous Recommenders

Post by petrokov » Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:36 pm

There's a professor at my school whom everyone says is "famous." I hadn't heard of him before I started my master's program, but now that I've started, I see his name come up over and over in graph theory. I went to the library to check out a book on graph coloring, and he had written the first chapter. I looked up a result that might help me on a hard homework problem, and I found a paper that he had written. A student visiting my university said that the other university he was looking at had proudly encouraged him to come to a talk at their school, given by none other than this professor from my school. I think famous means that once you find out who they are, you keep noticing their name over and over again. I'd recommend talking to faculty at your school to get a better idea of who is "famous."

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